Your Exams 2023

Exams let you demonstrate what you have learned. We understand you may be nervous or worried about sitting them later this year so we created Your Exams to help you prepare.

It tells you what you need to know and gives information and advice so that you can do your very best on the day of exams. Your Exams also contains rules you need to read and understand before exams start. These are in place to make sure exams are fair for everyone.

Remember to prepare, stay calm and do your best.

School edition

Download Your Exams 2023

Na Deuchainnean Agad 2023 (2.75 MB)

Your Exams 2023 - college edition (2.98 MB)


  • Download the exam timetable.
  • Double-check the times of your exams as schools can change the start times slightly.
  • Make sure you know what exams you’re taking, when they are, and where they are.
  • Ask your school which teacher will be in charge of SQA exams on the day. You need to know so you can report to them if you are late.

Past papers

  • Practice with old exam papers.
  • Use the marking instructions to check your answers.

SQA Apps

  • MyExams app - create a personal timetable, add notes, and add to other calendars.
  • MyStudyPlan app - organise your revision by creating a personal study plan.
  • Create your own personal exam timetable using the online Timetable Builder.

Info and download links

Your Scottish Candidate number

Your Scottish Candidate Number (SCN) is your personal identification number.

  • Your SCN is used to record your achievements.
  • You need to write it on your exam answer booklets.
  • Your school can tell you what your SCN is.

Check your school has the right name and address

Has your address changed?

Check your school has the correct details for you and your school will send to us.

You can check the personal details we hold by logging in to MySQA.

Arriving for your exam

  • Make sure you know when and where your exam is taking place
  • Give yourself plenty of time to get there
  • Have your SCN with you
  • Be outside the exam room 10 minutes before the exam starts

If you're late, the teacher in charge will tell you if you can sit the exam.

How to find your Scottish Candidate Number (SCN)

Speak to your school, call us on 0345 279 1000, or complete our Candidate Enquiry Form.


Make sure you have the necessary exam supplies, such as pens.

Bring a bottle of water to keep you hydrated and focused. Ask your teacher/lecturer if you're unsure what you need.


If your school allocates a specific desk for exams, make sure you know what desk number is yours for each exam.

Prohibited items

You must not take any prohibited item to your seat. You're not allowed (unless an approved assessment arrangement is in place):

  • Mobile phones
  • Any device that stores information or can connect to the internet, such as iPads, tablets, smartwatches
  • Books, sketches or paper, and anything written on your clothes or body
  • Pencil cases or calculator cases
  • Calculators (except when allowed)
  • Dictionaries (except when allowed)
  • Notes (except when allowed)

Check your bags and pockets to make sure you do not have any of these things with you - plan ahead and leave them in a safe place.

When specific items are allowed in an exam, you must make sure they meet SQA regulations.

You are not allowed to share any equipment during an exam.


Invigilators supervise the exam and make sure the rules are followed. Follow any instructions given by the invigilator and ask them for help if you feel unwell or upset.

Leaving the exam room

If you finish early or have done as much of the exam as you can, and you want to leave the exam room, raise your hand and ask the invigilator for permission to leave. If the exam is longer than one hour, the invigilator may allow you to leave after 30 minutes. If the exam is less than one hour, you must stay in the exam room until the end of the exam.

Before you leave, you must give the invigilator all your exam papers, including any answer booklets, extra sheets, question papers and data booklets. You could lose all marks for the paper concerned if you don’t give your exam papers to the invigilator before leaving the exam room.

  1. Read the instructions on the front of your question paper
  2. Check the subject and level are correct
  3. Fill in your details on the front page - including your name, school name and SCN

You will get either a :

  • combined question paper and answer booklet


  • separate question paper and answer booklet

Work through the question paper until you see the statement END OF QUESTION PAPER.

In a question paper, pages that don’t have any questions or instructions will say BLANK PAGE on them.

No page is completely blank. If you find a completely blank page before the END OF QUESTION PAPER statement, tell the invigilator.

Extra paper

If you need extra paper, raise your hand and ask the invigilator.

If you use extra paper, you must write your name, SCN and school name on each sheet and put these inside your answer booklet.

In some subjects, you will find extra pages or graph paper at the end of the answer booklet.

Writing your answers

You must use a pen with black or blue ink.

Do not use gel pens as these can fade.

It is important the markers can read your writing. They might not be able to award marks if your writing is difficult to read.

When writing on unlined pages, try to leave a space of about one centimetre between lines.

In some subjects, poor spelling and punctuation could also result in marks not being awarded. If you have any concerns about this, or about your handwriting, speak to your teacher.

Cross out any rough work, or any unwanted answers if you make more than one attempt at a question. Don't use correction fluid.


  • Take your time.
  • Read the question carefully.
  • Answer the question being asked.
  • Double check your answers if you finish early.
  • Stay calm and do your best.

Everyone should have a fair chance to do their best during exams.

Cheating and causing a disturbance during an exam are unfair to other candidates. Examples of cheating and unfair behaviour include:

  • Having prohibited items with you
  • Pretending to be someone else or getting someone else to take an exam for you.
  • Disruptive behaviour in the exam room.
  • Using rude, abusive, offensive or discriminatory language or images in your answers.
  • Copying from another person.
  • Collusion - working with other candidates on an individual task that must be your own work.
  • Plagiarism - failing to reference sources properly or presenting someone else’s work as your own, which includes using artificial intelligence programmes such as ChatGPT to draft responses.

Any cheating or unfair behaviour can have serious consequences for your results.

This could include losing marks, getting a lower grade or having your qualification cancelled. Your school can explain more about this.


  • Do arrive in good time - at least 10 minutes before the exam starts.
  • Do bring the right equipment - black or blue ink pens and so on.
  • Do check that you don’t have any prohibited items with you at your seat.
  • Do check you have been given the correct exam paper.
  • Do put your name, SCN and the name of your school on every piece of work you hand in (including separate answer booklets and answer sheets).
  • Do write legibly so markers can read your answers.
  • Do read instructions and listen carefully for any announcements from the invigilator.
  • Do cross out any rough work that is not part of your answer.
  • Do stay in the room until the exam is finished. You can only leave early with permission from the invigilator.
  • Do give the invigilator all your exam papers, including any answer booklets, extra sheets, question papers and data booklets, before you leave the exam room.


  • Don’t get someone else to sit your exam for you or pretend to be someone else.
  • Don’t take any prohibited items to your seat.
  • Don’t behave in a disruptive way or cause a disturbance.
  • Don’t copy from anyone else.
  • Don’t share your work with anyone else.
  • Don’t share equipment with anyone else.
  • Don’t use any rude, abusive, offensive or discriminatory language or images in your answers.

After your exam

You or your parent or carer should contact your school as soon as possible, explaining what has happened.

They will be able to discuss your options and whether or not you would be entitled to use the Examination Exceptional Circumstances Consideration Service. If you are eligible for the service, your school would need to contact us.

Exam Exceptional Circumstances Consideration Service

This Service will support you if:

  • you have been unable to attend the exam, or prevented from completing the exam, due to a personal circumstance beyond your control (such as a medical issue)
  • you have been affected during the exam by a disruption, or other exam circumstance, reported by the chief invigilator
  • your performance in the exam was affected by a personal circumstance, or an unplanned incident on the day, which was beyond your control.

Exam nerves, distraction or loss of concentration during an exam are not valid reasons to use this service.

Your school must request the service for you within 10 days after the exam, so it’s important that you speak to them as soon as possible after the exam, giving them the information about what happened. You must give your school permission to request the service.

Your school will then need to provide alternative evidence based on the assessments you completed throughout the year. This could be prelims, class tests, class work, records of performances (in some subjects). SQA examiners will review this, and any exam materials that you completed, to decide your grade.

If you have used this Service you will not be able to appeal against your grade through the Appeals 2023 service, as your grade will have been awarded based on your alternative assessment evidence.

More on the exceptional circumstances service.

You get your results by post on Tuesday 8 August.

You can also get your results by text or email if you sign up to MySQA

Your school will also receive your results.

If you have applied to a university or college through UCAS, they will also receive your results.

If you don’t receive your certificate on results day, contact your school immediately. They can tell you your results and will work with us to find out what has happened to your certificate.

If you think there’s a mistake on your certificate, or something looks wrong, contact your school.

MySQA is where you can:

  • see your qualifications
  • check the personal details we hold for you
  • get your results sent by email and text message

You’ll need to sign up at MySQA (you need an email address and your SCN).

You still receive your certificate by post.

Remember, if you change your mobile number or email after signing up, you’ll need to update your details to receive your text message or email.

On results day, if you cannot find your results email in your inbox, please check your spam or junk folder.

Appeals 2023 is a free service that you can use if you have genuine concerns about a grade (or grades) on your results certificate. You can appeal directly to us or ask your school to do this for you.

Your appeal will be prioritised if you have a conditional place at university or college, or in training or employment that depends on your grade.

This year’s appeals service will have a different process to the one used last year as alternative assessment evidence will not be looked at.

This year, if you appeal against your grade, a senior marker will carry out a marking review of your SQA-marked assessments.

This is not a re-mark.

A marking review checks that:

  • all parts of your SQA-assessments have been marked;
  • the marking is in line with national standards;
  • the marks given for each answer have been totalled correctly; and
  • the correct result has been entered on our system.

You should discuss your decision to appeal with your school as soon as possible after getting your results.

Please note that after being reviewed, your result could stay the same, go up or go down.

You have the final decision on whether to appeal.

Visit Appeals 2023 for the latest updates.

We collect information about you from your school and your local authority. We also collect information from your exam papers and other assessment materials.

All this information relates to your qualifications and we use it to:

  • make arrangements for you to do SQA exams and assessments
  • award and issue your results certificate (also known as your Scottish Qualifications Certificate)
  • provide services you have asked for, such as MySQA
  • answer your questions
  • investigate evidence of rule breaking (known as malpractice).

We also use it for research purposes and to produce statistics.

We may share some of your information with other organisations, including the Scottish Government, the Universities and Colleges Admission Service (UCAS), your school, and other organisations that provide our services. You can get more details on how we use your information on our Privacy statement.

You can ask for a copy of the information we hold about you. You can do this at How to request personal information.


Got a question?

Ask your teacher or contact SQA

0345 279 1000 or